Sun. Jul 25th, 2021

Police in General Santos City are looking into the possibility that some of the minors who went missing here last April were victims of recruitment by the New People’s Army (NPA).

(Photo Courtesy: Eagle News)

Col. Gilberto Tuzon, city police director, disclosed such an angle on Wednesday as they widened their search and investigation for at least eight missing persons from various barangays, seven of whom were minors.

He said they received information that the Facebook accounts of some of them would turn active on some occasions but remained unresponsive to queries.

Tuzon said they coordinated the matter with the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit-12 to help track down the location of when the accounts last went online.

Investigators are also establishing whether the victims were the ones using the accounts or that other persons have access to them, he said.

“There’s a possibility that they were recruited by the NPA or joined left-leaning organizations,” he told reporters.

Of the eight missing persons earlier reported to various city police stations, seven were aged below 20-years-old while one was 46-years-old.

Four of them were minors, with three aged 16-years-old from Barangay Katangawan who all went missing on the same day.

Tuzon said their cases remained on top of their priorities and they are exerting all efforts to locate them.

He said they have tapped other police stations in the region and other areas as well as the intelligence units to assist the continuing search operations.

The police official admitted that they have not made any major progress since April due to the lack of new information.

The cases were also reported late by their relatives, with one of them only referred to the city police after three weeks, he said.

Tuzon said they have posted information materials regarding the missing persons in border checkpoints and other public areas to help the search.

He said they also placed their pictures and pertinent information regarding their cases on Facebook.“We have designated tracker teams for each of them and were regularly conducting case conferences with them to update the developments,” he said.

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